Daily Egyptian

Faculty to host teach-in on May 2

By Cory Ray, @coryray_DE

As the university approaches May 2, faculty members are now planning their own events for the day of rallies and protests.

In response to a YouTube video that calls for lynchings on campus that day, history professor Holly Hurlburt has organized a teach-in along with half a dozen to a dozen professors to educate students on social justice. The event will begin at noon near the Faner Hall breezeway.

“We were all pretty angry about the video,” Hurlburt said. “We were pretty upset that whoever created the video felt like he or she could threaten people in that way, and in particular, make it as though it’s not OK to come to school.”

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Hurlburt said this is not a strike alongside the May 2 Strike Committee; rather, it is an attempt to let those propagating violent speech know it will not stop people from coming to the university on Monday. 

For Hurlburt, she plans to use the teach-in as a way to evoke conversation about racism. The faculty will also screen “Strange Fruit,” a 2003 film about the history of lynchings. 

“We need to have an honest conversation on this campus about the legacy of lynching,” Hurlburt said. “Because when that video chose to use that terminology, that wasn’t accidental. That was fear-mongering.”

MORE: Administration email details Q&A concerning May 2 | What May 2 really means for campus

While she doesn’t want professors to cancel classes because of the event, she hopes it will attract them to bring their classes to it. Then at 4 p.m., students can join an open mic reading about social justice in Faner 2302.

“We believe quite strongly that conversation and dialogue will go a lot further than in solving problems than threats of violence will,” Hurlburt said. 

Cory Ray can be reached at [email protected] or 618-536-3325.

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